We clear some common misconceptions about smart home devices, and provide tips for protecting them.
Gizmodo sought clarity from Vladislav Iliushin, IoT threat researcher at Avast, and Candid Wueest, principal threat researcher at Symantec, both specializing in smart home security.
Can smart home devices get viruses?
The short answer here is ‘Yes, but.’ Some smart home devices can, in principle, be vulnerable to viruses and other forms of malicious payload.
Even Android malware designed to infect smartphones can compromise smart TVs if they run the Android operating system
And it’s not just Android devices that are at risk.
“The vast majority of IoT devices are simply underpowered computers running Linux, so yes, smart devices can absolutely run malicious payloads built for IoT,” Iliushin told Gizmodo
However, the experts stress that the risks are low because there are only four ways to get malware onto your device. Each of these is relatively easy to guard against.
The four risks, and how to guard against them
A poorly-secured device
The main protection here is to buy devices from reputable brands. These will have a professional approach to security, and keen to protect their reputation by acting quickly to deal with any vulnerabilities discovered. We saw a good example of this recently with Nest cameras, where Google was extremely fast to block a security hole.
HomeKit certification is an excellent form of protection. Apple requires that all HomeKit-certified devices use end-to-end encryption, and are ‘mutually authenticated.’ For example, when a Philips Hue hub switches on a Hue bulb, the hub checks the security credentials of the bulb before issuing the instruction, and the bulb checks the security credentials of the hub before obeying it.
Read more in the full article: 9to5mac
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